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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Municipal Palace clock finally chimes again

Silent for over 20 years, 3 bells in city hall tower restored in time for anniversary celebration

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Now, with bells: Merida’s clock tower rings out loud for the first time in over 20 years. Photo: Getty

Merida, Yucatan — When is a clock on time, and yet late?

When it’s the clock tower at Merida’s city hall.

Its chime was supposed to be fixed in 2017, but INAH bureaucracy bogged down the project.

But in time for the city’s 477th anniversary over the weekend, the clock tower has rung its bell for the first time in over 20 years.

The first “bong” came at 8 p.m. Sunday while crowds were awaiting a concert from trova legend Armando Manzanero.

West of the Plaza Grande, on Calle 62, the Palacio Municipal was built during the government of Don Santiago Aguirre in the 1730s. Its clock tower was constructed in 1928 when the bells pealed on the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour.

After ringing for most of the 20th century, constant strong vibrations had weakened the bell tower’s walls, leading officials to disable the three huge bells, each weighing about a ton.

And after two decades, the city has a budget and a person in place to carry out the repairs to the tower and the wooden crossbar from which the bells are hung.

The clock itself is in good repair, requiring only monthly oiling and regular mechanical adjustments.

With information from Sipse

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